At first, watching this video of MABEL, a bipedal robot for studying dynamic gaits, we didn’t know if we should be scared or feel sad. By the end, we know that sadness prevailed. Poor MABEL, forced into a grueling routine, is not even allowed to rest when her leg breaks.
To be serious though, MABEL is quite impressive. Instead of using a direct drive on the legs, motors are attached to springs that act like tendons. This helps compensate for variances in the walking surface, hopefully allowing for smoother transitions between gaits as well. As you can see, MABEL handles the height differences quite well, albeit a bit slowly. It is worth noting that there are no visual sensors on MABEL and everything is done through feedback from her gait.
This tiny biped shows a lot of coordination in its movements. As you can see, eight servo motors account for the locomotion with an ATmega8 as the brains of the operation. Posts for the first and second generation of this little guy feature several videos. We gather that a spreadsheet is being used to tweak the preprogrammed movement sequences. Trial and error, that’s how humans learned to walk, right?
This year at the creepy robot dace-a-thon, also known as the Robo-one dance competition, we get to see the creepy brought to new levels. We thought the Lou Vega decapitated head bot was creepy, but somehow these people managed to make a biped out creep a hexapod. Watch above as this uncanny valley resident tries to shimmy into your heart. We really are impressed by these bots though. The world of robot dancing has come a long way, those little servo bags are doing a better job than us on the dance floor.
Boston Dynamics is at it again. This time, they’ve created a creepy biped with a natural gait. It may look very similar to BigDog, because it really is almost the same system. Named PETMAN, this biped system is being designed to help test chemical protection suits. This bot can stress the suit by walking, running, and even crawling in a room filled with poison gas. Not only can PETMAN walk, run, and crawl, but it can also sweat and change its temperature. That’s pretty cool. Like BigDog, the most impressive part is when they give it a shove and it recovers with a motion that seems almost organic.
There are so many biped bots circulating the web that we tend to overlook them. This one caught our eye this morning due to its interesting ability to change its layout. Named OmniZero.9, this biped can drive on 4 wheels like a car, walk like a biped, and even carry a person. While it certainly doesn’t look like the most comfortable mode of transportation, it looks less awkward than some of the latest “innovations” coming from big names.
Instructables user [alex.v] posted version 3 of his BiPed Robot. This robot is designed to mimic the control and movements of a human’s lower body. It has 12 degrees of freedom and a nice custom framework CNC’d from acryl sheets. The electronics consist of servos controlled by a custom board built around an ATmega8 and 3 ATtiny26s all programmed in assembly. He also has custom desktop software written in VB which allows direct control of the robot and graphs sensor data. His site contains pictures, videos, and design materials.